Honorary awards

Paul Clement Fensom

The title of Honorary Fellow of the University was conferred upon Paul Clement Fensom at the Education and Social Work graduation ceremony held at 4.00pm on 4 April 2008.

Paul Fensom

The Deputy Chancellor Alan Cameron AM conferring the title upon Mr Fensom, photo, copyright Memento Photography.

Citation

Deputy Chancellor, I have the honour to present Paul Clement Fensom for the conferring of the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.

Paul Clement Fensom, in his fortieth year of service to Catholic education, is one of the leading Principals of Catholic Secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Paul began his teaching career in 1969 and in the years since has taught in both New South Wales and Queensland. Paul was first appointed Principal in 1984, and in the intervening twenty-five years has been Principal of five schools in the Sydney metropolitan area. Paul also acted as a Regional Consultant for two years during the early 1990s, assuming responsibility for a cluster of Secondary schools in Sydney.

It was “school mastering” and Principalship, rather than administration and bureaucracy, that attracted Paul, allowing him to utilize the full range of his considerable skills and talents. Widely regarded as an astute educationalist by the senior leadership of the Catholic Education Office Sydney and by his peer Principals, Paul has an abiding commitment to ensuring that his students gain the optimum benefit from their schooling, achieving the best possible education in the context of a contemporary Catholic school.

Paul’s insistence on high standards has been clearly manifest during his nine years of Principalship at his current school, Trinity Catholic College Auburn, where his students have achieved outstanding results each year in public examinations. Over the past five years 85% of HSC courses at Trinity have achieved results above State average, whilst in 2004 the College was named The Australian newspaper’s national ‘School of the Year’ in recognition of the extraordinary HSC results, where 100% of courses studied were awarded results above the State average. This achievement was all the more meritorious considering that Trinity Catholic College is situated in one of Sydney’s most disadvantaged socio-economic areas, has a student population with over eighty different ethnic backgrounds, and where approximately 70% of the students speak a language other than English at home. Such ground-breaking work at Auburn has opened doors for Paul’s students to access tertiary education and employment opportunities that otherwise would have remained beyond their reach. Paul’s advocacy for the admission of his students into university, particularly his own alma mater, Sydney University, confirms his committed intention of enlarging the educational prospects of students whose circumstances would ordinarily have precluded such opportunities.

Paul Fensom’s contribution to the education of Australian youth has been substantial for forty years. Students, staff, and colleagues who have come under Paul’s influential leadership have come to know and appreciate his professional, determined, but self-effacing style, and have had the privilege to work under an inspiring contemporary Australian educator.

Deputy Chancellor, I present Paul Clement Fensom and I invite you to confer upon him the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.